Temptation is hard especially when we feel so consumed in it we can’t break free. But there is always hope in Christ. This is a two-part series that I hope speaks deeply to you. I know God has spoken to me through it.
Temptation is nothing to mess around with.
If we turn to pleasure and lust of our eyes, stomach, touch, scent, and hearing we are a slave to our sin. Yes, SLAVE! We will serve our own flesh and desires.
(NLT) 2 Peter 2:19, “They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you.”
Scripture is not hidden about us having a master.
(NIV) Matthew 6:24, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
Another term for money is wealth, and wealth is about“self”. If we are focused on money, then we are greedy, and if we are greedy, we are selfish.
Essentially, we will serve ourselves or God. Even more, if we serve ourselves then we will serve the death of this flesh as it rots. We will be so consumed in our own flesh, we will cling to it more and serve it more until there is nothing left of us.
(NLT) Ephesians 2:01-03, “Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil–the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.”
It won’t matter how many signs, convictions, or pricks of the Spirit we will receive because ultimately when we choose to please this flesh over Him in time WE WILL BE DESENSITIZED!
(NIV) Ephesians 4:18-19, “They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.”
And when we are desensitized God will give us over to our flesh.
(NIV) Romans 1:24, “Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.”
(NIV) Romans 1:28, “Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.”
Which might be startling to read, but it is the truth. This is why we need to be careful about “waiting for God to convict us.” If we are exposing ourselves to something that is not Christlike, I honestly don’t know if we can use that as an excuse, personally.
But what does all of this mean in regards to temptation?
If we serve ourselves more than spending time with Christ, I promise you, we will fall in temptation. If we spend more time with Christ which means reading scripture, worship, prayer, and seeking Him in all things. We will not fall into temptation. (This will be discussed more in part two.)
Understand that being tempted is not a sin.
But when temptation occurs many believers think that is when we need to “fight back”. The moment temptation happens that’s when we turn to scripture, worship, prayer, and focusing more on Him to distract ourselves.
This is the problem.
We are going into a battle with no sword and no armor. We are not preparing for what will happen and what is to come.
Basically, we are walking out into an open field full of traps and enemies ready to devour us, and only then we think, “Oh, I should pray now. God will help me.”
But this is futile.
(Part two will discuss how we can fight back properly. Be on the lookout, next Thursday, December 13th.)
Have you struggled with temptation?
Monthly Scripture- (NIV) Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed–a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
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